Friday, April 1, 2011

Exploring Stanley, Falkland Islands on Foot (March 2)

Our journey around Cape Horn was as smooth as silk, much to the dismay of some passengers who were hoping for wild seas and huge waves. It was calm the last time we sailed around it, and we’re quite happy with that!

Our next port was Stanley, Falkland Islands. Here is their flag...


It looked like a gray day as we approached Port William, the harbour where the ship would remain while the tenders took us ashore.

The Falklands are made up of two main islands and many smaller ones. This remote area of land is home to 3000 people and ten times as many penguins. The Falklands have served as a way station for ships, particularly whalers, bound to and from Cape Horn. It was the only way between the Atlantic and Pacific before the Panama Canal was built. The islands’ strategic position led them to have roles in both World Wars, and they were also a pawn in the 1982 conflict between Argentina and the UK.

Arriving on shore…

The tourist information building was crowded as cruise passengers took over the town.

What do penguins do when they have no passengers to have their photos taken with? Flip off their heads!

We didn’t have a tour arranged and thought we might grab a cab for an island tour. One guy we talked with wanted $90 for an hour, so we cancelled that idea and decided to just walk around the town. Jim stayed on board and I tagged along with Barb and Ed. It turned into a hot day with beautiful blue skies.

You could see the names of the ships Endurance and Protector spelled out on the other side in stones. This is a tradition for ships that have provided long periods of service for the Islanders.


The signs in town were very well done and explained all the nearby sites.

Christ Church Cathedral is the most southerly Anglican Cathedral in the world and was consecrated in 1892.

Lovely flowers still in bloom…

Barb and I in the whale bone arch which was constructed in 1933 to commemorate a centenary of British administration in the Islands. The arch is made of four blue whale jawbones. The bones became very weathered over the years and in 1992 were cleaned and reinforced with resin.

There is still a military presence on the islands as Argentina has not given up the idea of reclaiming the Malvinas (as they are known in Argentina). The West Store has everything in it from books to clothes to food to liquor.

Stanley Cottage was built by the first Colonel Surgeon as his residence. He did most of the building himself while living in a tent in the winter of 1844. It is now the home of the British Antarctic Survey office.

A monkey puzzle tree! The only trees on the island have been planted and nurtured by their owners. All efforts to introduce trees on a large scale have failed. Although 150 species of flowering plants grow in the Falklands, only two species of brush grow higher than ground level.

The mizzen mast of the SS Great Britain…one of the many ships to wreck in the area.


Strange to see military trucks, but they are a way of life.

Marmont Row was built as a small hotel and five cottages in 1854 and has mostly maintained that use under different names over the years. It has now been converted back into cottages for private ownership.

Another of the excellent signs…

The phone booths situated outside of the town hall…does anyone really use a phone booth anymore?

New stamps will be released soon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1982 war.

The 1982 Liberation Memorial was designed by a local person and built as a tribute to the British Forces and civilians who lost their lives in the conflict. It was built with public donations and volunteer labour.



Not sure what this was, but a cross had been put in there that day...

We carried on with our walk to the next memorial which you can see in the distance on the right. It’s about a 1-1/2 mile walk.We were aiming for the museum as our final destination.

The path to the Government House…

I guess our invitation got lost…

Beautiful home which also houses the office of the Governor of the Islands. It originated in the 1840s and extensions have been added by successive governors giving it a combination of architectural styles.

Complete with horses…this guy is obviously used to people and made a point of ignoring us.

An English country garden…

The school and library…

The Royal Marine Monument is a tribute to the long standing relationship between the Royal Marines and the Falkland Islands.

The Battle Memorial commemorates the Battle of the Falklands fought between British and German fleets on December 8, 1914.


The Jhelum was launched in Liverpool, UK in 1849 and was damaged while rounding Cape Horn carrying a cargo of guano. The ship was used for storage and only recently lost the bow in a storm.

We’re still trucking on looking for the museum…

At last! Even then we weren’t entirely sure it was the museum…

Until we got right up to the door…

Lots of great artifacts…

A Symphonion, circa 1895, was shipped from Leipzig, Germany to the Falklands for use in the Globe Hotel as a coin operated jukebox. It was badly damaged in the 1982 conflict and the pieces were gradually recovered and refitted. 

A tiny room in the museum houses the artifacts from the 1982 War. The museum had just received word that day that they would be moving to a larger facility in the centre of town and were thrilled. One of the ladies commented that they would always remember us as being the cruise ship that was in town on the day they received the good news. They are hoping to have this section of the museum ready next year in time for the 30th anniversary of the war. A huge undertaking!

Some of the interesting newspaper articles…

This picture was the one that stirred the British into action when they saw their soldiers lying on the street. This is the picket fence in front of Government House that Barb was leaning over to pet the horse.

Surrender…

Can you imagine seeing troops marching up the street in your little town?

Awwww…

Cheers for Britain!

A little political humour…

We took the complimentary shuttle bus back to town for a lunch of fish and chips.

And then it was time to head back to the ship. Look! A double decker bus…

Our next stop…Buenos Aires…

And a turtle from Gina…

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